Double Trap shooter and 2012 Games medal hopeful William Chetcuti will be the country’s flag-bearer in today week’s opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, in east London.
The announcement was made last night by Maltese Olympic Committee president Lino Farrugia Sacco during a reception at the Excelsior Hotel where the athletes and technical staff representing Team Malta at the Games, which come to a close on August 12, were the main guests.
Farrugia Sacco handed the Malta flag to Chetcuti in the presence of chef-de-mission Julian Pace Bonello, Director of Sport Mark Cutajar, general secretary Joe Cassar and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clyde Puli who were among a host of distin-guished personalities present for the occasion.
At the London Games, the other Maltese athletes taking part will be Diane Borg and Rachid Chouhal (athletics) and Nicola Muscat and Andrew Chetcuti (swimming).
For Chetcuti, 27, this will be the second time that he will carry the Malta flag in an Olympic Games opening ceremony.
In fact, in 2004 the shooter from Manikata also led Team Malta during the athletes’ march past at the Athens Stadium.
Four years ago, it was judoka Marcon Bezzina who was handed the honour to carry the Maltese flag during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics held inside the mythical Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Close in Beijing
Chetcuti’s best result in the Olympics was in 2008 in China when he finished eighth in the Double Trap competition.
On that occasion, he missed the barrage finals by a whisker after failing to hit the target in a shoot-off with three other com-petitors.
His eighth place was the best position ever attained by a Maltese competitor at the Olym-pic Games.
Yesterday, it also became known that shooting, with 390 competitors from 108 countries in the overall London entry list, is ranked among the top four of the most universal sport along with athletics, swimming and judo.
Meanwhile, Andrew Chetcuti and Muscat will be the first Maltese athletes to make the trip to London as on Sunday they will be leaving the island to start a short training camp ahead of the Games.
William Chetcuti, Borg and Chouhal are expected to leave with the rest of the MOC contingent next week.
YEAR CITY FLAG-BEARER SPORT
2012 London William Chetcuti Shooting
2008 Beijing Marcon Bezzina Judo
2004 Athens William Chetcuti Shooting
2000 Sydney Laurie Pace Judo
1996 Atlanta Carol Galea Athletics
1992 Barcelona Laurie Pace Judo
1988 Seoul Joanna Agius Archery
1984 Los Angeles Peter Bonello Boardsailing
1980 Moscow Frans Chetcuti Shooting
1972 Munich Peppi Grech Shooting
1968 Mexico City Louis Grasso Chef-de-mission
1960 Rome Christopher Dowling Swimming
1948 London Francis Zammit Cutajar Athletics
1936 Berlin Godfrey Craig Swimming